Covid-19: Professor tells Government to 'take responsibility seriously'.
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The final remaining coronavirus restrictions are due to be lifted on July 19, with Boris Johnson pledging to restore “people’s freedoms”. This will be the final step of the government’s roadmap plan for easing lockdown amid the pandemic.
What restrictions will be lifted?
There are a number of things we are expecting to be announced – some are more certain than others.
The remaining restrictions we can expect scrapped are:
- The “rule of six”
- Table service only in pubs and restaurants
- Nightclubs being closed
- Capacity limits in theatres and cinemas
But then there are some other restrictions which we can expect an update on, too.
- Face masks – it is expected the PM will say face coverings will become a personal choice
- Social distancing – next steps on the 1m plus rule and findings on a review
- Working from home – when people should work from home and when to return to the office
- The findings of the review on Covid passports and next steps
- Next steps for care home visits next review in August.
Mr Johnson is expected to reiterate that Covid will become similar to the flu virus, which the public will need to learn to live with.
Speaking ahead of his latest announcement, Mr Johnson said that, while the pandemic is not over, there has been progress enough to move forward.
He said: “Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination programme, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap.
“Today we will set out how we can restore people’s freedoms when we reach step 4.
“But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.
“As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgement when going about our lives.”
While Monday will see the PM set out preliminary plans, an official announcement will only come on July 12.
Downing Street said step four would go ahead on July 19 only if the government’s “four tests” for easing curbs had been met.
The verdict on those tests – on the jab rollout, vaccine effectiveness, hospital admissions, and new virus variants – would only be confirmed on July 12 following a review of the latest data, No 10 said.
Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “We are all desperate to move on from restrictions but with infections continuing to rise steeply thanks to the Delta variant, Boris Johnson needs to outline the measures he will introduce such as ventilation support for buildings and sick pay for isolation to push cases down.
“Letting cases rise with no action means further pressure on the NHS, more sickness, disruption to education and risks a new variant emerging with a selection advantage.
“So far ‘learning to live with the virus’ had been no more than a ministerial slogan.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in charge of their own coronavirus rules, and the Scottish government has suggested it may retain some basic measures including masks at its
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